Well, I have done everything necessary, and I now have a surgery date. I will be having Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery on Monday, September 30. I have a 3 hour appointment with my doctor on Wednesday to go over blood work, upper GI results, pre-op instructions, and everything I need to know. On September 25, I have my pre-anesthesia testing at the hospital. I will be starting my pre-op liver shrinking diet on September 16.
I appreciate the support I have received both publicly and privately through text messages and comments here on my blog. This decision is not one that I came to quickly, or easily. I had started the wheels in motion for this surgery 2-1/2 years ago, but chickened out and didn't do it. I'm glad I didn't do it then, but I'm so ready to do it now. I have chosen a fa less invasive procedure than I would have had 2-1/2 years ago. I believe that all things happen for a reason, and I feel like the delay was a good idea. The fact is, all of my failed attempts to lose this excess weight have been unsuccessful. I very clearly remember the day I got on the scale and it said "200". I cried, I was devastated, and I swore I was going to lose the weight and NEVER gain another pound. I didn't have the strength, the knowledge or the ability to make that a reality.
Now that I have the knowledge and ability I have so many years under my belt as an obese woman, my body really just doesn't know how to lose weight without some serious help. YOu name it, I've tried it. As the nutritionist said, the surgery will give me the ability to do what I need to do and hold me to it.
I totally understand that there are going to be some serious adjustments to my diet that are required to be able to be successful. I am also keenly aware that failure to comply with the diet and restrictions necessary will mean eventual failure and regain of the weight I lose initially. I don't view this decision as a "simple fix" or an "easy way out" of obesity at all, but instead, as a tool to help me reach my health and fitness goals. A way to meet the goals I set all those years ago. A step forward into the life I always wanted to live with my kids, and the example of healthy living and physical activity that I wanted to share with them.
My son has developed a love of running, and is asking about running a half marathon. He is 9. His first question was, "When I run my first half marathon, will I have to wait for you, or can I run ahead." He asks this because this summer, we ran the same 5k. He finished in 30:27, I finished in about 56 minutes. I want him to maintain this love of physical activity, but I want us to do it together.
I have a 7 year old who is built just like me. She already weighs in at 80 pounds, and is having to wear sports bras because she is getting a woman's body. I'm no fool, and I'm aware, also through research, that her early development can likely be attributed to the crap that we have allowed her to eat in the fist 7 years of her life. I have 11 years to teach her how to eat healthy and be active. If I do my job NOW, she will never have to feel the embarrassment, frustration and anger that I have dealt with as it pertains to her body. This is a very fine line, as a mother, because I don't want her to feel singled out by me, or by anyone for her weight.
Ella is my peanut. She is 4 years and 3 months old and still has yet to reach the 40 pound mark. She needs 5t's for her height, but if it was just an issue of something going around her, would likely still be able to wear some 2t stuff. She is TINY.
The fact is, I have 3 children with 3 very different body types. I have to teach them ALL how to live a healthy lifestyle, and the answer to that is simple. They need to eat a whole foods, clean diet. No preservatives, and no crap. I don't expect them to not ever eat candy, etc; but it needs to be the exception, not the norm. As a result, everyone in the Blackburn household will be finding a whole lot less crap in the refrigerator and the pantry. If I teach them these things now, it will be their norm as time progresses. It will be the food they crave, and the food they enjoy. It will be what their pallet has been trained to expect and to enjoy.
I have had a few people tell me that I'm being the opposite of a good example for my kids. When I talked to them about it (me having surgery) in very general terms the first thing they did was start listing off the things they wanted to do with me. They want me to hike, ride bikes, jump on the trampoline, go swimming and other things. I want for us to have a lifestyle where my kids look forward to our weekends in the woods in a tent, or going to run 5k's together, or going hiking, and white water rafting together. I want to be a mom that my kids can be proud of, not one they are ashamed of. I want to live the life that I always envisioned for myself, not the one I resigned myself to because I got the short end of the genetics stick.
I gave up on myself years ago....this is me fighting back. This is me taking back my life. I regret allowing my life to get to the point where I felt like this was the most logical option for me to regain control of my life, but I am viewing September 30th as a re-birth day.